Catastrophic Halifax Explosion, 100 years later

Nova Scotia capital commemorates catastrophic Halifax Explosion 100 years ago

An unidentified woman walks past the bell tower before a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion at Fort Needham Memorial Park in Halifax on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Poets and politicians remembered those who died and those who struggled to rebuild a shattered city as a sombre ceremony was held Wednesday to mark 100 years since the Halifax Explosion.

The wartime blast resulted from a collision of two ships in the harbour that led to approximately 2,000 deaths and an estimated 9,000 wounded.

A large crowd turned out in cold rain at the Fort Needham memorial site, not far from where the French ship SS Mont-Blanc erupted and wiped out the city’s north end and a Mi’kmaq village across the harbour.

A bell was rung at the precise minute of the explosion’s anniversary, while a cannon was fired from Citadel Hill and many city residents fell silent for a minute.

George Elliott Clarke recited a poem recalling the poignant moments leading up to the 9:04 a.m. detonation, including the imagined last goodbyes of children as they went off to school.

Mayor Mike Savage asked spectators to remember those “who lived 100 years ago, those who were killed, those who survived and those who rebuilt.”

The Dec. 6, 1917, catastrophe remains the worst human-made disaster in Canadian history and was the largest artificial blast prior to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.

Related: Student and veteran collaborate for project

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: North Island female minor hockey jamboree a big success story

“Success is measured by the smiles on the players’ faces, not by the scoreboard.”

FOLLOW-UP: Shelley Downey speaks on her Conservative candidacy

“I anticipate requesting a leave of absence from Port McNeill council,” Downey said.

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

VIDEO: North Island female minor hockey jamboree a big success story

“Success is measured by the smiles on the players’ faces, not by the scoreboard.”

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles show ‘true grit’ in back to back wins over Powell River Kings

“We showed some real grit digging down deep for the two points.”

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

Most Read